Press Releases

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Buffalo Public School students receive scholarships honoring Katherine “Kat” Massey

  • Memorial Scholarship Honors BCBS Retiree and Dedicated Volunteer for BPS

Buffalo, N.Y. (May 14, 2024) — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York announced it awarded scholarships to four Buffalo Public School students in honor of Katherine “Kat” Massey, who was among those who lost their lives at the hands of racism and violence on Saturday, May 14, 2022. 

Born and raised in Buffalo, Kat devoted 40 years of her career to the local health plan, where her colleagues remember her for her generous nature and unwavering support for the community, including as a decade-long volunteer for Buffalo Public Schools. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield established the scholarship fund to honor her memory.

Camrin Mosely, a resident of East Buffalo, received the inaugural Kat Massey scholarship, and three additional scholarships have been awarded to Dominique Stitts, Naturelle Miller and Jahlil Alston. Mosely attends Buffalo State College for business administration; Stitts attends Villa Maria College for interior design; Miller attends Canisus University for digital media arts and Alston attends St. Bonaventure University for cyber security.  

“Kat Massey worked for our health plan for four decades, and while her contributions to the company were great, her impact in our community was even greater,” said Dr. Michael Edbauer, president, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. “She dedicated her life to making our community a brighter place for all, especially for Buffalo Public School students, and this scholarship fund keeps her light alive for future generations.”

Following the tragic shooting on May 14, 2022, Highmark committed $300,000 to support immediate relief efforts and honor the 10 victims, including Kat Massey. As part of that, the health plan established the scholarship fund through the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The goal is to memorialize Ms. Massey’s life-long contributions to improve Buffalo’s public schools, as well as her dedication as a 40-year BlueCross BlueShield employee.

The local health plan continues to support relief efforts that began in May 2022, including:

  • Providing behavioral health support and resources to the community, including East Buffalo neighborhoods, through the #WEAREHOPE initiative.
  • Hosting an annual community-wide diaper and personal hygiene drive to benefit East Buffalo organizations, Every Bottom Covered and Home Beneath our Feet.
  • Volunteering and supporting organizations to support prevailing needs of the community.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, with United Concordia Dental, TeamSmile and the Buffalo Bills, will host a free pediatric dental clinic at Highmark Stadium on May 14, 2024, where 250 underserved children, including students from Buffalo Public Schools, are scheduled to receive dental services, along with transportation to and from. Additionally, the event will pay tribute to the victims whose lives were lost on May 14, 2022, and all attendees will receive a Choose Love tote.    

The health insurer invests more than $7 million in hundreds of non-profit organizations annually, especially those working to improve the social determinants of health in the Western and Northeastern New York communities it serves. 

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is a trade name of Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Since 1936, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of the community.

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Amber Hartmann